Wednesday, July 8, 2009

MASTER LIST #15: The 101 Best Films of the 1960s


Whoa! Easily the most challenging decade for films since the silent era, in my opinion. So many of the following 1960s films cited are not for everyone (popular filmmaking, spearheaded by the Americans, on the other hand, was at its lowest ebb, with dunderheaded musicals, epics, and comedies taking the forefront at the box office). Very nearly half of the entries on the list hail from the finest filmic artists of World Cinema--Bergman, Fellini, Antonioni, Lester, Germi, Leone, and so on--working outside the states, and then there are so many more filmmakers who transplanted themselves in less-familiar parts of the world to mount their creations (Kubrick did his great works in Britain, while, for instance, Britain's Alfred Hitchcock and John Schlesinger did their decade-defining works in America). There was a lot more give-and-take between commonwealths in this era; that, plus the massive social and political transformations occurring all over the globe during the decade (not to mention the great strides in literature, music, and movies themselves) contributed to the one-time-only richness of 1960s cinema. So, based on (1) overall quality, (2) influence, (3) historical importance, and (4) personal affection, here are my choices:

1) 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 68)
2) The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 69)
3) Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 60)
4) Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 62 (Britain/USA))
5) The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Sergio Leone, 66 (Italy))
6) Blow Up (Michelangelo Antonioni, 66 (Britain/Italy))
7) Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 64 (Britain/USA))
8) The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford, 62)
9) Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 66 (Sweden))
10) The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 61 (Britain))
11) Midnight Cowboy (John Schlesinger, 69)
12) The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Jacques Demy, 64 (France))
13) Salesman (Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerlin, 69)
14) Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Mike Nichols, 66)
15) Targets (Peter Bogdanovich, 68)
16) Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 65 (Britain))
17) Once Upon A Time In The West (Sergio Leone, 69 (Italy))
18) The Exterminating Angel (Luis Bunuel, 62 (Spain))
19) Playtime (Jacques Tati, 67 (France))
20) The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 67)
21) Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 67)
22) I Am Cuba (Mikhail Kalatozov, 64 (Russia/Cuba))
23) Pierrot Le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 65 (France))
24) The Music Man (Morton Da Costa, 62)
25) Ride The High Country (Sam Peckinpah, 62)
26) Masculin-Feminin (Jean-Luc Godard, 66 (France))
27) West Side Story (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, 61)
28) Point of Order! (Emile De Antonio, 64)
29) War and Peace (Sergei Bondarchuk, 68 (Russia))
30) A Hard Day's Night (Richard Lester, 64 (Britain))
31) David and Lisa (Frank Perry, 62)
32) Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero, 68)
33) Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 60 (Britain))
34) Mothlight (Stan Brakhage, 63)
35) 8 1/2 (Federico Fellini, 63 (Italy))
36) The Gospel According to St. Matthew (Pier Paulo Pasolini, 66 (Italy))
37) Yojimbo (Akira Kurosawa, 61 (Japan))
38) if... (Lindsay Anderson, 69 (Britain))
39) Weekend (Jean-Luc Godard, 67 (France))
40) 7 Up (Michael Apted, 64 (Britain))
41) The Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Parajanov, 68 (Russia))
42) Medium Cool (Haskell Wexler, 69)
43) Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles, 65 (Britain/USA))
44) La Jetee (Chris Marker, 62 (France))
45) Monterey Pop (D.A. Pennebaker, 69)
46) In Cold Blood (Richard Brooks, 67)
47) Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, 66 (Russia))
48) Cul-de-Sac (Roman Polanski, 66 (Britain))
49) Primary (Robert Drew, 60)
50) Hud (Martin Ritt, 63)
51) The Manchurian Candidate (John Frankenheimer, 62)
52) Shock Corridor (Samuel Fuller, 63)
53) Faces (John Cassevetes, 68)
54) To Kill A Mockingbird (Robert Mulligan, 62)
55) The Misfits (John Huston, 61)
56) Petulia (Richard Lester, 68 (Britain))
57) The Hustler (Robert Rossen, 61)
58) The War Game (Peter Watkins, 65 (Britain))
59) The Knack, And How to Get It (Richard Lester, 65 (Britain))
60) Stolen Kisses (Francois Truffaut, 68 (France))
61) Closely Watched Trains (Jiri Menzel, 66 (Czechoslovakia)
62) It Happened Here (Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo, 66 (Britain))
63) The Virgin Spring (Ingmar Bergman, 60 (Sweden))
64) Woman in the Dunes (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 64 (Japan))
65) Fail-Safe (Sidney Lumet, 64)
66) Jules and Jim (Francois Truffaut, 62 (France))
67) Culloden (Peter Watkin, 64 (Britain))
68) Don't Look Back (D.A. Pennebaker, 67)
69) Jigoku (Nobuo Nakagawa, 60 (Japan))
70) Point Blank (John Boorman, 67)
71) The Rain People (Francis Ford Coppola, 69)
72) Divorce, Italian Style (Pietro Germi, 61 (Italy))
73) Through a Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman, 61 (Sweden))
74) The Dot and the Line (Chuck Jones, 65)
75) The Naked Kiss (Samuel Fuller, 64)
76) Oliver! (Carol Reed, 68 (Britain))
77) Belle De Jour (Luis Bunuel, 68 (Spain/France))
78) Nothing But A Man (Michael Roemer, 64)
79) Bullitt (Peter Yates, 68)
80) Mickey One (Arthur Penn, 65)
81) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (George Roy Hill, 69)
82) One, Two, Three (Billy Wilder, 61)
83) Head (Bob Rafelson, 68)
84) Bedazzled (Stanley Donen, 67 (Britain))
85) 101 Dalmatians (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske & Wolfgang Reitherman, 61)
86) The Hill (Sidney Lumet, 65)
87) A Man For All Seasons (Fred Zinnemann, 66 (Britain))
88) They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (Sydney Pollack, 69)
89) The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 63)
90) Spartacus (Stanley Kubrick, 60 (Britain))
91) The Bellboy (Jerry Lewis, 60)
92) Cool Hand Luke (Stuart Rosenberg, 67)
93) Yellow Submarine (George Dunning, 68 (Britain))
94) Seven Days in May (John Frankenheimer, 64)
95) Zulu (Cy Endfield, 64 (Britain))
96) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Peter Hunt, 69) (Britain))
97) Judgment at Nuremberg (Stanley Kramer, 61)
98) A Shot in the Dark (Blake Edwards, 64 (Britain))
99) Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey, 62)
100) Splendor in the Grass (Elia Kazan, 61)
101) Two For The Road (Stanley Donen, 67 (Britain))

2 comments:

Must Love Movies said...

hey
well of the one's i saw they were classic.

Dead Pan said...

Love the list, 1960's may have been cinema's greatest decade, I always thought the 70's, but this list has me thinking 60's.

While talking about 60's films, I can't lie and say I wouldn't love to hear your thoughts on my review of Salesman I just posted on my blog. Thanks so much Dean!